There was a time when online crime and click fraud seemed to exist outside the consciousness of most online shoppers. Those days appear to be long gone.
A new survey released by privacy research firm the Ponemon Institute and fraud prevention services provider ThreatMetrix says as much, with a whopping 85 percent of respondents indicating that they worry about becoming a fraud victim as a result of their online usage.
By comparison, 80 percent of those polled expressed similar concerns the last time the two entities ran a similar study.
Ponemon and ThreatMetrix polled 607 regular internet users for the latest survey, and included a wide range of activities under its definition of “online fraud”, including credit card scams, identity theft, phishing, and spam as well as attacks that target personal information and account details under false pretenses.
“A lot of fraudulent activity goes unreported today, making it difficult for online businesses to fully understand the prominence and seriousness of the problem,” says Reed Taussig, ThreatMetrix CEO. “With a rise in online transactions and activities across devices, more needs to be done to educate online merchants, banks, social outlets and other businesses on how to decrease fraudulent activity.”
With that increased awareness of the threat of online fraud comes a desire on the part of most web users to see more protections from e-tailers, even if that means giving up some of the privacy they enjoy while shopping online: almost three-quarters of those polled in the survey said they’d be okay with trusted online businesses placing cookies on their computers in order to authenticate them; 82 percent said they expect businesses to offer alternative authentication measures if cookies proved ineffective.
“Consumers expressed much more willingness to share data like Internet Service Providers, computer serial number, type and make, rather than information like date of birth and telephone number,” says Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute.
The pool of respondents used in the survey was certainly a good one to speak on the issue of online fraud in general: 42 percent of those questioned said they have already been the victim of fraud before.
Unfortunately, their responses also make clear that most fraud victims don’t do much in response to being duped. Only 19 percent of those who had suffered from fraudulent activities actually notified the involved online business directly of it, while the rest didn’t report the crimes at all.
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